AirTalk for June 5, 2014

ACLU lawsuit claims California students robbed of learning time

Teacher Surprised With $10,000 As A Knowledge Universe Early Childhood Educator Award Winner

Robert Benson/Getty Images for Knowledge Unive

Children at Scripps Ranch KinderCare in San Diego play in their classroom on October 1, 2013 in San Diego, CA.

Students from impoverished districts in L.A., Compton and others are suing state officials over lost class time and overall harm to their education. The class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Public Counsel Law Center blames high teacher turnover, inefficient scheduling, school crime and even personal trauma for failing these students.They say it violates the state the constitution.

California education officials issued a statement: "While neither the California Department of Education nor the State Board of Education has had an opportunity to review the specific claims made in today's suit, we believe continuing to implement California's Local Control Funding Formula—rather than shifting authority to Sacramento—is the best way to improve student achievement and meet the needs of our schools, and we will resist any effort to derail this important initiative through costly and unnecessary litigation."

Are the courts the best venue for these problems? What are the possible remedies?

Guests: 

Mark Rosenbaum, Chief Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California, lead attorney on Cruz et al v. State of California et al

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, Education Reporter, KPCC

Neal McCluskey, associate director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom

Hear the segment by clicking on "Listen Now" in the upper left.


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